What should Obama do? The view from Cuba

There is much debate at present regarding the direction  the Obama administration might take Cuba policy during its second term. Inevitably, the debate is focused on what politicians are saying in the United States. So here at the IISC, we thought  we would provide the view from the other side of the Florida Straits.

Here we offer a translation of a lecture on the topic of US-Cuba relations given by Dr. Néstor García Iturbe one of the Cuban Communist Party’s leading academics and experts on foreign affairs.

 

Cuba in the foreign policy of the United States of America

Situations in the conflict between Cuba and the United States. The possible behaviour of the Obama administration in the period 2013-2017. The position that Cuba could take.

By Dr. Néstor García Iturbe

Introduction

It is undeniable that the situation between the U.S. and Cuba can be described as a crisis or conflict.

The conflict between Cuba and the United States began when U.S. troops prevented the Mambises, under General Calixto Garcia, from entering the city of Santiago de Cuba to receive the surrender of the Spanish troops.

A similar idea to this was reflected in the Council on Foreign Relations report, entitled “Relations between the U.S. and Cuba in the XXI Century”, published in 1999.

The report stated: “When people in both the United States and Cuba, talk about the future of relations between the two countries, they usually speak of “normalizing relations.” The reality is that the U.S. and Cuba have not had “normal” relations since the United States intervened (in Cuba), in 1898, ending Spanish domination.”

At least we agree on this.

Officially, diplomatic relations with Cuba were suspended at the request of the United States, on January 3, 1961. It would have been an international scandal in April if the Bay of Pigs invasion had taken place while having diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Some people, when referring to the situation between the two countries, mention the “relations between the U.S. and Cuba”, something that does not really exist. As mentioned above, relations were suspended in 1961.

Occasionally people have referred to the “dispute between the U.S. and Cuba,” another error. The word “dispute” means the absence of agreement, disagreement, which applies when, in the relations between two countries, there are points to be resolved. However, as we posit above, there are no relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

It has been more than fifty years. During that time there have been various efforts related to the crisis between the two countries, where Cuba has participated in attempts to move towards normalization of relations with the United States.

We describe some of those efforts by the United States as well-intentioned, aimed at finding a climate of understanding. Others, we view as wholly negative, in which the main objective has been precisely the destruction of the Cuban Revolution. In almost all cases interference, arrogance and attempts to ignore Cuban sovereignty have determined the end of those actions.

Lately, especially during the first four years of the Obama administration, this process has not made significant progress.

Obama, as he has stated several times, considers the economic, commercial and financial blockade as the cornerstone of his policy towards Cuba. This has been demonstrated most vividly with the actions taken by his administration against companies and banks that have engaged in transactions with Cuba.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, on November 13, 2012, during the presentation of the resolution entitled “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba”, the which was approved by 188 votes in favor, 3 against and two abstentions, stated:

“During the administration of President Obama, fines for penalties amounting to 2 billion and 259,732 dollars doubles the amount for the two terms of George W. Bush.”

The blockade is only one of the tools that the Obama administration uses against Cuba with the aim of making sure the so-called “succession” is replaced by “transition”.

According to the words of the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Cuban exiles living in the United States are its greatest ambassadors and are tasked, on their trips to Cuba, to spread the advantages and benefits that are enjoyed by Americans: “the American way of life “. An instrument that is designed to create in the Cuban population an inordinate interest in that life, of which only a portion has been told, and which many times is not entirely true.
The Obama administration has maintained and exceeded all the mechanisms against Cuba that were created over the years by the presidents who preceded him, whether they were Democrat or Republican. It has increased the sums of money to finance activities against Cuba aimed at creating a climate of irritation and discontent with the objective that it could lead to the fall of the revolutionary government.

This money was approved as part of the budget. In the same budget, where funds are not sufficient to ensure social services required by much of the U.S. population, they spend millions of dollars to try to change the government of another sovereign, independent, country, that is not to the liking of the ruling class in the United States, but which has the right to adopt the system of government it believes appropriate, without any foreign interference.

We could say that this approach to policy toward Cuba by the U.S. government is what has caused the crisis to be irresolvable. Moreover, if Cuba were to wait for a government that suits it in the U.S. or if the United States were to wait for that to happen in Cuba, we can be sure that the crisis will continue for many more years.

Some U.S. research on the matter

A number of existing research centres in the United States have conducted studies on the topic, but in most of these studies the aim has not been how to establish a respectful and equal relationship between the two countries, but to promote a ‘transition’ as a solution that favors the establishment of a government in Cuba bent towards U.S. interests. In these studies, we have taken some samples to support our approach.

Let’s start with the research sponsored by the Twentieth Century Fund, held in 1993, called “Cuba in Transition,” which was directed by Guillian Gunn.
The aim of the work is expressed in one paragraph that says:
“In Cuba, the United States can carry out a peaceful democratic transition, without military intervention or long-term occupation. To ensure a peaceful transition it is important to avoid any policy that causes a violent eruption. We must put the Cuban government in a position where they have no choice but to act according to the wishes of the United States. “

The conclusion states:

“We believe that any government that emerges from a peaceful transition, though not necessarily anti-American, will be eager to demonstrate its independence from the United States.
“That government may still be called ‘socialist’, though it should be the type of European socialism, with benefits for workers, families and the unemployed, but not in the Leninist style. “
This report proposes a series of actions that would be appropriate for the U.S. to carry out. The report was made 20 years ago, and most of the actions are in place, indicating that the policy toward Cuba has not changed significantly and that the crisis continues.

Another report, funded by the Council on Foreign Relations, is dated January 12, 1999, but was later updated. The report is entitled “Relations between the U.S. and Cuba in the XXI Century”. It was made by a group of experts, including Cuban exiles, under the direction of Bernard W. Aronson and William D. Rogers.
Among the objectives set out in the research were:
“To promote American interests and values ​​in order to hasten the day when a Cuba, fully democratic, can resume a normal relationship and friendship with the United States.
“To support, nurture and strengthen civil society that is beginning to emerge today in Cuba, in a slow, tentative but persistent manner, under the shell of Cuban communism.
“The U.S. opposition to the Cuban revolution and support for democracy and development in this hemisphere were able to thwart the Cuban ambitions to expand its economic model and political influence. With this success in hand, the U.S. can now proceed to the second stage of its long-term policy towards Cuba: working to create the best possible conditions for a peaceful transition in Cuba and the emergence of a free Cuba, prosperous and democratic in the XXI century.
“No change in U.S. policy toward Cuba should have the primary effect of consolidating or legitimizing the “status quo” on the island. Every aspect of U.S. economic and foreign policy toward Cuba should be judged by a very pragmatic approach: if it contributes to a democratic change in Cuba peaceful and fast while safeguarding the vital interests of the United States. “

One essay, sponsored by the Hoover Essay in Public Policy, entitled “A Strategic Flip-Flop in the Caribbean”, by William Ratliff and Roger Fontaine aimed to analyze the benefits for the United States to suspend the blockade of Cuba.
This research presents interesting views on the futility of continuing the blockade, the economic damage that this has caused the United States and how the proposed action to suspend the blockade could be used as a step in the transition to another type of regime.

The basis of this thought is summarized in these paragraphs of the document:

“First, however halting it may be, Cuba is undergoing a process of System change comparable to the transitions that gripped post-Maoist China, Gorbachev´s Soviet Union and post-1987 Vietnam.

“Second, current U.S. policy toward Cuba is driven primarily if not exclusively by domestic politics because of the influence of the right-wing Cuban-American community, and the importance of Florida and New Jersey as key electoral states.

“Third, whereas our present confrontational and punitive policy serves as a brake on Cuba´s transition, a more conciliatory policy would help accelerate economic and political reform in that country”

In June 2006 a report was sent to the President of the United States by what was called the “Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba”. At that time, the group of experts and scholars who worked on the document thought that Cuba was near to a “transition” as opposed to a “succession”. The proposed measures were intended to accelerate change in Cuba. This document is popularly known in Cuba as the “Bush Plan”.

In relatively recent studies, we can mention the so-called “Safety Requirements for Post-Transition in Cuba”. A monograph published on August 19, 2007, by the Strategic Studies Institute of the Army War College of the United States, made by Colonel Glenn Alexander Crowther.

The aim of the study is “to contribute to the conceptualization of a post-Castro Cuban armed forces. Their integration into the military family in the western hemisphere will require changes in the missions they perform and in their structures.”

In this case fourteen recommendations are made to achieve the proposed objectives, both in the Ministry of Interior, as well as the Revolutionary Armed Forces.

These recommendations propose, among others, to seek the cooperation of the Cuban armed forces with the government of ‘transition’, to seek to influence them through military contacts with other countries that have already undergone this process, remove the mass organizations that support the military at present, eliminate the policy of the ‘War of All the People,’ and above all, treat the Cuban military with respect.

Another work on the situation between Cuba and the United States, which, from what it expounds, is focused differently from those already mentioned, tries to seek ways in which the two countries could agree, without undermining the independence, sovereignty and legitimate interests of each other and without the main goal of changing the Cuban government. This in my opinion should be the way the Obama administration in its second term ought to develop its policy toward Cuba.
This study, sponsored by the Center for Democracy in the Americas, is entitled: “Nine ways for the U.S. to talk to Cuba and for Cuba to talk with the United States.” It was written by a team of experts, led by Sarah Stephens.

In its opening paragraphs it is recognized that:
“The policy of the United States, imposing economic sanctions, trying to bring down the government of Cuba, has never worked and will not work. Cuba calls unconditionally to suspend the blockade. The U.S. demands that Cuba unilaterally dismantle its political system. With two sides divided, with no hope of change, how can we even begin to talk to overcome this impasse?”

A summary of all these studies, except for the last mentioned, allows us to conclude that:
all are aimed at securing and promoting the “transition” (read; the destruction of the Cuban Revolution), and implementing a government to act according to the interests of the United States.
They talk of using the Cubans living in the United States as a major force in promoting the objectives of the “transition”.

It is argued that any economic change should not strengthen the Cuban Revolution but ensure the interests of the United States.

Within the process of “transition” that they seek to promote, there are taken into account measures to be developed against the Cuban armed forces, which are considered one of the pillars of the Revolution.

As mentioned above, to obtain results that move us away from the current crisis and promote a greater understanding between Cuba and the United States, the aggressive policy must change, attempts to establish a regime in Cuba to the U.S. liking must be suspended and interference in Cuba’s internal affairs must be removed.

Only a climate of trust and mutual respect can build the bridges necessary for communication between the two countries, this may start moderately, without allowing special interests to seek to prevent a policy that represents the interests of the peoples of both nations.

The Herald Bulletin poll

A good number of U.S. citizens have shown an interest in the initiation of a process of analysis and discussion on this core issue. A poll conducted by a working group of the “The Herald Bulletin”, among Americans who have visited Cuba, ratifies this approach.
The survey was conducted among lawyers, professors and university students from Texas, Illinois, Minnesota, Maine, Washington State and other professional groups, who traveled to Cuba in 2011-2012. They contacted a little over 350 people altogether, of which 95 responded to the survey, a response of 27.1 percent.

The questionnaire was sent by e-mail, months after visiting Cuba and assuring appropriate confidentiality for the responses. The survey consisted of three questions and the results obtained after applying the reduction technique listed were:

1. – Do you consider That the policy of the United States toward Cuba must suffer changes?
In what aspects and how?
-The embargo of Cuba must be removed. 68.3%
-U.S. Policy towards Cuba must change. 46.0%
-Travel restrictions must be eliminated. 38.5%
-Suspend attempts at regime change in Cuba. 26.4%
-End the Cuban Adjustment Act. 17.1%
-Remove Cuba from the list of countries supporting terrorism. 15.0%
There were other ideas that did not accumulate 15%, within these: Exchange Allan Gross for the Cuban Five stands out with 6.3%.

2. – How and in which areas could agreements be established of mutual benefit between both nations?

-Tourist and business trips without restriction. 42.4%
-Establish pharmaceutical joint ventures 35.2%
-Establish education, sports and culture exchanges 31.0%
-Increase cooperation between banks. 19.3%
-Study the possibility that Americans could invest in Cuba. 17.4%
-Increase academic, religious and humanitarian exchanges. 16.0%

There were other proposals that did not reach 15%, among them again was “to discuss the exchange of Alan Gross for the Cuban Five”, at 10.0%. The remaining proposals were mostly commercial and financial.

3. – Do you consider that the policy of Cuba towards the United States must suffer changes?
In what aspects and how?
-Cuban policy to the U.S. must change. 47.2%
-Cuba must change the centralized economy. 32.4%
-Cuba should allow freedom of expression. 26.0%
-Cuban policy to the United States should not change. 24.3%
-Cuba should be open to the market economy. 23.1%
-Cuba should allow investment and trade with U.S. companies 21.0%
-Any Cuban must have Internet access and information about the U.S. 18.4%

The rest of the proposals did not reach 15%. Some were related to financial and business problems and one of them to political issues.

Two respondents wrote paragraphs in conclusion to their proposals. I will present these, as I consider the ideas they contain important.
Comment # 1
My Understanding Is that Cuba’s Policy toward the U.S. is mostly defensive
in nature. It seems that the U.S. wants Cuba to reform to become more
democratic and have freer markets. As a U.S. citizen, I want my country to
be more democratic and have freer markets. I do not see our state
especially the capitalist system as being democratic or our markets as
especially free.

“Venezuela has private media that is very critical of
the government, an economic elite with a lot of private wealth, a multi-
political party system with transparent and free elections but the U.S.
government still takes a hostile position towards its government.

“It seems to me that the U.S. government would only be happy if Cuba were like Mexico or Colombia.”

Comment # 2
“The Cuban leadership should understand that, on the whole, Americans’ opinions toward Cuba have changed.  I believe that most Americans would welcome the re-establishment of relations; I am certain that many more people would love to visit Cuba.
Perhaps asking that we trust one another is a bit too much at this time, but I honestly believe that we could both work together in good faith toward a relationship which will benefit both countries.
I look forward to a time – in my lifetime – when the creativity, energy, and beauty of the Cuban people will be common knowledge for Americans. “

Cuba’s official position

The revolutionary government of Cuba has always shown interest in the study of this issue and its willingness to analyze the proposals created for better climate between the two countries. The story picks up a number of facts that confirm what was said.
Our position was recently expounded in the speech of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, before the General Assembly of the United Nations, on November 13, 2012, when he said:

“I reiterate, on behalf of President Raúl Castro Ruz, the commitment of the Government of Cuba to move toward normalization of relations with the United States, through respectful dialogue, without preconditions, on a reciprocal basis of sovereign equality and without detracting from our independence and sovereignty.

“Again today I present again to the Government of the United States the proposed agenda for bilateral talks aimed at moving towards normalization of relations, which includes as core issues, the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade, exclusion from the arbitrary and illegitimate terrorist country list, the repeal of the Cuban Adjustment Act and the policy of “wet foot, dry foot,” compensation for economic and human damages, the return of the territory occupied by the Guantanamo Naval Base, the end of radio and television aggression, and the cessation of financing internal subversion.

“An essential element of this agenda is the release of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly and cruelly imprisoned and held in this country. An act of justice or, at least, a humanitarian solution would win the gratitude of my people and our government’s response.

“I also offer to the government of the United States to negotiate agreements for cooperation in areas of mutual interest, such as fighting drug trafficking, terrorism, human trafficking and for the full normalization of migratory relations and the mitigation and prevention of natural disasters, environmental protection and preservation of our common seawaters. We also propose resuming talks, unilaterally suspended by the counterparty, on migration issues and the restoration of the postal service. “

The possible behaviour of the Obama administration in the period 2013-2017 and the position that Cuba could take

To make a prediction about the likely behaviour of the Obama administration in the period 2013-2017 it is necessary  to take as a base one of the scenarios that might arise regarding foreign policy toward Cuba.

We will take as a hypothesis the most favorable of these, which once again confirms our willingness to analyze and discuss the problems between the two countries. That is, let us assume that all contact is made through respectful dialogue, without preconditions, on a reciprocal basis of sovereign equality and, in defense of the interests of each country, without any loss to the independence and sovereignty of either.

An analysis along these lines, with mutual interest and practical solutions appropriate in the interests of both countries, would solve more than half of the problems that exist between the two nations. The selected areas are those in which the U.S. president holds powers that allow him to change the existing situation.

In my proposal, the ball is thrown to the U.S. camp, but in a way that they can catch and return it to Cuba, to facilitate that exchange is initiated and to achieve the best possible result.

How to order the items on the Agenda? What would be the first items to discuss?

The most logical would be to start with those situations where there is already some kind of progress or agreement, whether signed or implied, between the parties. The agreements and results obtained in the first points, that may not be the most important, would allow each party to a study how to complete the discussion, what is the disposition of the other party and also show progress in the process that has begun.

I will point out what I consider the most important and urgent because there are many that could be dealt with.

Migration talks

Travel to Cuba and remittances from Cubans living in the United States was one of the initial concerns of the Obama administration in its first term. The action taken, which many people refer to as “lifting travel restrictions to Cuba,” did not even go as far as introducing the restrictions as they were applied in the Clinton era.
Cubans living in other countries are not subject to these regulations, so they have complete freedom to travel and send money to relatives in Cuba. It is only those who reside in the United States who do not enjoy such freedoms.
President Obama could order the Departments of State, Commerce and Treasury to issue regulations on the specificities related to these trips, which would allow him to take steps in terms of increasing them.
The resumption of these talks could give a great boost to the whole process. It is a point of great interest in both the United States and Cuba for the number of people who are involved.
Cuba has just issued new immigration regulations, to which the United States will surely have to respond.

Fighting drug trafficking

This is cause that could be called “noble”. One way or another both countries maintain a degree of cooperation of mutual benefit. In discussions on the subject there should be established agreements to formalize what is done and possibly advance the cooperation.

Prevention and mitigation of natural disasters

This also could be described as “noble”. One way or another there is a degree of cooperation and transfer of information between U.S. and Cuban weather services, due to the proximity of the two countries, it is impossible to prevent this from happening.

Cooperation and transfer of information is aimed at saving lives and protecting the resources available to each country. An agreement on this matter, formalizing and expanding existing cooperation, in addition to extending this to the introduction of the latest technology, it would be very positive.

Sale of food products

This is an activity that is being carried out regularly. When it began operations the amount exceeded $800 million, is now close to $500m, but is important for both parties.
Being able to sell these products benefits U.S. companies, reduces their inventories and can offer their employees work, something important to the employment situation in the United States. It is also a formula to return at least part of remittances to Cuba and this is an economic benefit to the U.S.
Cuba also benefits by allowing it to have access to products that it otherwise has to acquire in other countries, but with more commercial work, sometimes at higher prices and having to pay for a more distant transportation. In turn, this means having to have a larger inventory of those products.
The Obama administration could return to the situation before the Bush administration, in 2005, interpreted the clause of “advance payment” in the Law of Trade Sanctions Reform (TSRA) of 2000. A more flexible interpretation of this law would benefit Cuba and the United States.

Marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical services

This is a matter of great importance and the talks could focus on it from the humanitarian point of view. Cuba is interested in buying certain drugs that are produced in the United States and to sell what it produces, much of which is currently distributed in countries around the world and are of recognized quality.

Furthermore, the U.S. pharmaceutical industry has an interest in closer ties with Cuba, especially for the joint development of research on vaccines and other products, and even, if feasible, establishing joint ventures with Cuban companies.

The importance that the Obama administration has given to the health problems facing the American people to ensure the best possible health care to the majority of the population and the high cost that this represents in the U.S. budget, plus what each person spends annually on such care, might call for an analysis of what Cuba could represent in terms of providing savings, for instance with the introduction of medical products manufactured in Cuba of high quality and lower cost.

The talks would also include the provision of services related to the practice of medicine. This could refer to equipment leasing, equipment sales and even the possibility of doctors from different specialties providing services in each other’s country during disasters, epidemics or in the treatment of diseases which have reached a high specialization. Patients may also return to traveling from one country to the other for treatment.

Authorization of banking relations

We consider it essential, according to the amounts currently moving between the U.S. and Cuba, to talk about the establishment of normal relations between the two countries’ banks.
These conversations should formalize the agreement between Western Union, a subsidiary of Wells Fargo, and Cuba on remittances from the United States. They could include ways to formalize the payment of commercial transactions between the two countries, including those originating with the purchase of agricultural products and expanded facilities in Cuba to allow the use of credit cards issued by U.S. entities.

People trafficking

This is a point of mutual interest, in which there is a degree of coordination between the authorities of both countries. Often U.S. ships arrive in Cuban ports to return people who have been caught in U.S. waters. These people are received by the Cuban authorities and sent to their homes.
Those who engage in illegal profit from this trafficking, who are captured either in one country or the other, receive heavy penalties, fines and their vessels are seized. The exchange of information on this issue and illegal departures from Cuba can be very useful to the U.S. authorities. The written form of this tacit agreement between the two countries would have the effect of neutralizing this trade.

Sports and cultural exchange

On this point there is great interest in both nations. Often our cultural personalities travel to the U.S. to make presentations, participate in art exhibitions or other cultural events. Sometimes Cuba has also received groups and individuals from the United States travelling to the same end.
As for sport, we could say that this has happened less frequently than cultural events but when they are conducted, the population has shown a great interest in meetings between athletes from both countries. This is a point that can be further exploited in connection with the search for a better understanding and benefit the political climate between the two countries, especially because of the similarity of existing interest in certain sports, both in the United States and Cuba.

Cooperation in the field of energy

The interests of Cuba to expand its oil production and drilling in the seas that surround it has been considered by the United States as a potential danger to the environment of its shores.
The conclusion of an agreement between both parties on safety measures to be observed, and even the possibility that this is an aspect within which U.S. companies that can deal, must surely be of interest to both parties.

Some laws have been proposed in the U.S. Congress including the possibility that companies from that country undertake drilling in Cuban waters, that oil produced by US citizens and companies could be imported into United States, which would save of millions of dollars in transportation.
Cooperation on energy issues and the environment arising from these, could also be extended to the exploitation of wind energy, hydropower, solar, electricity generation using gas and others that depart from the use of oil.

Cooperation in plant protection

Problems related to plant protection could be included in these discussions. Both countries are close and many of their flora and fauna are similar, especially if we compare Cuba with those developed in the southern United States.

Marine and atmospheric currents can move from one country to the other pests and viruses, as do birds that take refuge from the United States in Cuba during the winter, returning in the spring. The passenger traffic between two countries in a given time could also be a carrier of diseases.

The exchange of information and cooperation between the two governments and the various existing agricultural research institutes should surely be of importance. The interest of expert would be reflected in a lower incidence of disease in agricultural production in both countries. The manner must also be established as to how the acquisition of products that are required to control pests, viruses and diseases will be effected.

Academic cooperation

This is another point where there is a history that has been kept alive because of academic travel from one country to another. The licensing of these trips, in the case of U.S. academics and visas in the case of Cubans, has been handled in a political manner, limiting them for a while and then allowing a number of these trips.
What would be ideally in this case would be to remove the license, but taking into consideration that it might not be the right time for this, the Obama administration could adopt a less rigid stance about it, and even increase the level of daily expenditure authorized for this purpose.

Important work in academic cooperation, so as to ensure exchange between U.S. and Cuban professionals, visits, conferences, teaching courses, students receiving specialized courses, exchange of literature and technical equipment for teaching.

Having arrived this point, let us move on to other more delicate issues, where each country will have to make a greater effort to achieve mutual understanding and possibly modify some of the positions that it has historically taken in this regard.

Release of Alan Gross and the Cuban Five

This is an issue that should be approached pragmatically. According to court proceedings conducted in each of the countries, all have been found guilty and sentenced to imprisonment. The authorities of both consider as totally illegal the decisions that the other has taken affecting their citizens.

Each party has expressed its dissatisfaction with the processes performed in all cases each has requested revision thereof, in accordance with the laws of each country, but until now it has obtained a different result.

In the situation in which we find it, it is illogical to continue clinging to judicial procedures that result in prolonging the time these people are in prison. Acting on behalf of the more legitimate interests of its citizens, each state must find a fast and effective solution, an executive decision, to ensure the return of the same to their homeland and their families.

The only possible agreement, which would satisfy most of the citizens of both countries and would prove a serious political will in the negotiations between the two, would be the release of the Cuban Five and Alan Gross.

Exclusion of Cuba from the list of terrorist countries

This could be a significant gesture by the U.S., and that such action would mean that the country will be beginning to have a different view of Cuba.

The United States is well aware of the policy pursued by Cuba in relation to terrorist organizations and terrorism. On several occasions, the intervention of Cuba in actions that have endangered the lives of citizens of several countries, has resulted in the solution of this situation and the preservation of the lives of the people involved in it.

The fact that the United States has felt attacked by actions of a terrorist nature, cannot at any time be blamed on Cuba as they all relate to activities of organizations whose base of operations is in the Middle East.

Moreover, Cuba is among the countries that have been victims of terrorist actions. There are hundreds of Cuban citizens who have died resulting from these activities. Terrorism has been guilty of the destruction of factories, schools, vehicles and facilities of all kinds. Cuba knows exactly who is dedicated to encouraging these actions and where the perpetrators are.

The removing Cuba from the list of countries that promote or support terrorism will be an act of honesty by the United States that Cuba will surely consider.

Cease funding and support to internal subversion

If we want to create a climate of trust between the two governments, it is totally unacceptable that one government conspires against the other.
Funding and support the Cuban internal subversion by the U.S. government must cease, as this is part of plans to try to replace the Cuban revolutionary government with one that will fold to U.S. interests. This is clearly an act of interference. The U.S. would not allow any country to conduct itself in this way on its territory or against the established government.
There are a number of U.S. laws that have been enacted against what they call “insurgency”, directed against intending to change the established system, which provide for larger and higher penalties than existing laws in Cuba. The regulations of the City of New York for anyone who is interested in organizing a demonstration have a number of requirements which, if we applied them to the so-called “Ladies in White”, we would be charged again as human rights violators.
When we talk about these actions, we also include the propaganda that is made through the radio, television and social media.
The cessation of funding and support to internal subversion by the United States would be an extremely important step in the consolidation of this process. It would expose to the world a different image of the country and would renew the sense of respect that the U.S. had during the stage of the struggle against fascism, for the freedom and self-determination of nations.
The cessation of commercial and financial blockade against Cuba

The commercial and financial blockade against Cuba is a unilateral action from the U.S. that began in 1960, meaning that it has prevailed for a term of more than 50 years.

A blockade was one of the sparks that ignited the prairie and resulted in the U.S. war against England. The Declaration of Independence is itself as a true testimony to those living in the thirteen colonies.
That blockade caused no disappointment and discouragement to the revolutionaries, despite the economic dissatisfaction and hardship it caused. Neither did it help meet the objectives of England. That embargo and other measures that accompanied it provoked a strong determination to fight against the regime in England that tried to keep their colonies.

The “Whigs”, when they proclaimed “give me freedom or give me death” were willing to die fighting for self-determination, respect and sovereignty of their territories and create a new nation. Other peoples of the world and especially the Cubans feel the same way and are willing to sacrifice themselves equally.

To use a blockade against another country, with which it is not at war, and keep it up for more than 50 years is not having taken a lesson from their own historical experience. Maintaining such a measure, even though it has not obtained the expected results, completely denies the pragmatism that has characterized American policy in the past.

Joint analysis of the blockade, its consequences and how to remove it, will surely lead us to discuss the nationalization of foreign properties that Cuba carried out, and the law it enacted in this regard that virtually all countries complied with, with the exception of the United States. Because the U.S. broke off relations with Cuba, U.S. companies did not submit the appropriate claim for nationalized property on time. The United States must surely want to analyze the possibility that Cuba offset this economic impact.
As a consequence of the crisis that has developed between the two countries, Cuba has suffered serious economic losses. The very purpose of the blockade, whose damages, in over 50 years, until 2011 amounted to one trillion sixty-six billion dollars, the Bay of Pigs invasion, the frequent acts of terrorism, biological and bacteriological warfare, as well as various forms of sabotage carried out against Cuba and its citizens from U.S. territory, or financed and organized by the United States, have had a serious effect. Surely Cuba would wish to explore the possibility of compensating the economic damage that all this has caused to the country.

The lifting of the blockade will create a flow of trade between the two countries which will benefit U.S. companies and Cuba, which is also a positive aspect in creating a climate of confidence between the two nations so that enemies could become partners.

There are other situations that require joint analysis and the right decision, such as that with the Guantanamo Naval Base, which, with the matters that we have outlined in this paper once resolved, is sure to be much easier to expedite and to find an acceptable and honorable solution for both parties.

The whole process should be based, as noted above, in a respectful dialogue, without preconditions, on a reciprocal basis and sovereign equality, without any loss to the independence and sovereignty of both nations.